Stretch the opposition defence

When your team plays a possession game they have a problem in finding ways to break down teams that park the bus or flood the midfield. But this session helps players overcome that.

Why use it

You’ve got to move the opposition around so you can create gaps for your players to play a through ball to break the defence

Set up

You need balls, bibs, cones and small goals. Set up an area the width of the penalty area between the penalty box “D” and the edge of the centre circle with a 6 yard zone either side. We used 10 players in the session.

How to do it

Play a 4v4 in the centre with a neutral wingback in each of the wing zones who play for the team in possession. Only the neutral wingbacks are fixed to zones, the other players can go anywhere on the pitch. The game is directional and teams must try to score in any of the three goals – if a team scores a goal and the wingback is involved the goal counts double.


Because of the pressure on players in the area you want to see switching play to areas of space and good possession passing and movement. Wingbacks need to cross the ball with accuracy and attackers get shots on target Look for good support play and overlapping runs.

Stretching defences

    1. Play a 4v4 in the area with players looking to score in the opposition goals while protecting their three goals
    2. The neutral wingbacks must stay in their channel – any goal resulting from a move involving the wingbacks counts double
    3. Possession play is key with good through passes and overlapping runs key to the session
    4. When players attack they should think about how tactically they can support play and stop any counter attacks
    5. Impress on the players that switching play and overlapping runs are key to creating space
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